ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Virgin Islands has been thrown into mourning with news of the death of its first premier, Member Emeritus of the House of Assembly (HoA), Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE.
According to reports reaching our newsroom, Hon O’Neal passed away today, November 11, 2019 after being ill for some time.
He was 85 years of age.
The Office of the Premier has since released a Bulletin informing of Hon O’Neal’s passing.
According to the Bulletin, the O’Neal family said: “It is with great regret that the family of the Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal OBE and Member Emeritus inform friends and family, together with local, regional and international associates, of the passing of our beloved husband, father and leader.”
It was only on October 18, 2019 that the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government, through Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5), successfully brought a resolution to the House of Assembly for the Central Administration Complex to be known as the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex.
The late Hon O’Neal, who retired from active politics in 2015 after some 40 years as an elected member [1975-2015], was the first Premier of the British Overseas Territory of the VI and the second Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), serving after the party’s first Chairman and Founder H. Lavity Stoutt.
The management and staff of Times Caribbean extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE.